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Mike G.
Mike G., Master Electrician
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 7533
Experience:  Proven Professional 48 years Experience
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I touched the wrong two wires together, sparks went

Customer Question

Hi I touched the wrong two wires together, sparks went everywhere. now I have no lights in my basement 2 bedrooms and a hallway. Not sure what to do now. Reset and replaced the breaker and nothing. Not sure what to do now.
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Electrical
Expert:  Mike G. replied 10 months ago.

Hi, I'm Mike and I'll be assisting you. Please stand by while I review your question.

Expert:  Mike G. replied 10 months ago.

Please explain exactly what you were doing, why and what you did after the spark.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Hi Mike, I was trying to change the light fixture in the hallway. Once it sparked, I thought it'd be a good idea to turn off the breaker. This is when I realized that the new fixture didn't work, and now the 2 bedrooms and my basement lights were off. I flipped off and on the main and each breaker individually. Even changed out the breaker that flipped off and replaced the light bulbs. Not really sure what to do with it now. Not even sure how the wires should be hooked up now.
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
I'm pretty sure it was the positive and negative, at the fixture, right after the breaker that touched. Can the wire be bad?
Expert:  Mike G. replied 10 months ago.

Do you have a 2 wire voltage tester? We need to test the wires to determine what is needed.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
I'm goingoing to buy one now. I'll get back with you.
Expert:  Mike G. replied 10 months ago.

Very good.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Ok, I've tested them, I think correctly. And there's no power.
Expert:  Mike G. replied 10 months ago.

Test each wire to ground.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
How do I do that?
Expert:  Mike G. replied 10 months ago.

One probe on the ground wire and then touch the bare end of the other wires one at a time.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Ok, no power
Expert:  Mike G. replied 10 months ago.

OK, go to the panel, remove the cover and test each breaker to ground.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
All good, even the one giving me issues. I did just noticed that the one giving me issues is hooked up to something. I have no idea what it is or even if it's the lights. Maybe a balist?
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
This is hooked to it
Expert:  Mike G. replied 10 months ago.

That's a doorbell transformer.

Go back to the fixture opening and give me the count and colors of the wires in the box.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
7 wires 3 white 3 black and a ground. These are the 2 I touched when everything went wrong.
Expert:  Mike G. replied 10 months ago.

This what you have to do.

  1. Connect the wires together by color. Blacks to black and whites to white.
  2. Turn the light switch off. Very important!!!
  3. Plug in a noise making item into one of the dead outlets. A vacuum cleaner in the on position will work.
  4. Go to every outlet working or not, plug something into it and wiggle the ug side to side. Listen for the vacuum cleaner.
  5. When it is heard, you found the problem connection.
  6. Open the box and if the wires are connected using the push back connections, that is the problem. Move wires to the screws.

Let me know how it goes. When that is done, you'll need to go back and change connections at the ceiling box to provide for switch control.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
All my power outlets are hooked up to a different breaker. The only thing connected to it are lights
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
But what you are saying, is that I blew a wire loose somewhere?
Expert:  Mike G. replied 10 months ago.

Unusual to have only lights only on a circuit. Troubleshooting is a step by step process. A bad or lost connection can be on a working outlet and the loss is the connection leaving to the next outlet which is now dead. I suggest following my previous instruction to eliminate the usual failure first.

Expert:  Mike G. replied 10 months ago.

One more thing. Do you have any GFCI outlets that may have tripped. Check bathrooms.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
No gfci outlets in the house. I just did what you said, and nothing. I check the outlets for power, and the first outlet, closest to the breaker is the only one that works. I took it out and everything is still connected
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Not sure if this helps, it threw me off. But all the light fixtures have a white wire and a black wire connected for some reason
Expert:  Mike G. replied 10 months ago.

I have to put you on hold for a while. Doctors appointment. I post back when done.